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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  January 19, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am EST

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washington correspondent norah o'donnell. set the scene for us there. >> reporter: well, rachel, there is a strong independent streak that is running through this country. we saw it certainly in virginia, new jersey and now in massachusetts. and scott brown ran as an independent even though he was on the republican ticket. did he not advertise that he was a republican. and you have to acknowledge this was a very compressed election schedule because scott brown in many ways came out of nowhere and the coakley campaign did not do a good job of defining the issues early on. scott brown, the senator-elect, said tonight, tonight the independent majority has delivered a great victory. he also said, this is the people's seat. and that's what caused this crowd to erupt. he also said, we can do better. and that's a message, a winning message whether you're a democrat or republican, we can do better that may resonate. i say that based on what chuck reported tonight, the nbc
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news/"wall street journal" poll. there is a sense of dissatisfaction with washington and scott brown managed to ride that wave. another interesting thing. you pointed out some of the odd things, talking about the availability of his two attractive daughters and, also, being willing to take his truck down to show it to the president and play basketball against him. but there was one part of the speech that i don't know if you heard. he said, our tax dollars should not be spent on weapons to stop them and not -- let me start that over. talking about terrorists. he said, our tax dollars should be spent on weapons to stop them, not on lawyers to defend them. scott brown defends waterboarding. he did during this campaign. i don't know how many voters or people know that, but that was part of the issues -- one of the issues in this campaign that really didn't get played out that much. one of the reasons was, during a critical three-week period
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between december 19th and december 25th. coakley was not on the air pap as one democratic official said, she pliltly went on vacation. so there were a number of issues that probably did not get a lot of play. rachel? >> msnbc's chief washington correspondent, norah o'donnell. thanks very much for your reporting tonight. really appreciate having you there for us. >> reporter: sure. >> of course with the autopsies already starting on the democratic campaign here, the issues that norah raised are not alone. the question not only of what the momentum was on the side of the martha coakley campaign. blornlt the candidate herself was fully engaged in trying to win this general election campaign. but also the issue of whether or not the campaign even tried to define the republican opponent. scott brown, as everybody has said tonight, did a masterful job of defining himself.
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everything looks masterful when you win. but the question is whether or not there were great opportunities that were lost by the democrats in not having early on taken scott brown seriously as a challenger and taken up the things in his record and the things in his policy positions that might even today still shock massachusetts voters if they fully got what he was about. again, this is a statement which barack obama beat john mccain by 26 points. scott brown well to the right of john mccain in many policies positions. joining us is democratic congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz ands the vice chair of the democratic committee. >> great to be with you. >> as vice chair of the dnc, democrats and liberals all over the country want to hear you say right now that the democratic party did do something wrong to lose this race, that you know what it is and that you know how to fix it. are you going to make those folks happy tonight? >> well, i can't wave a magic
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want which, believe me, if i could, i would do in a heartbeat. i will tell you that it's very clear -- it's been clear to me every time i've run a race, that you can't treat a primary victory as you do a general election. and that was,i think, problem number one on the political side of things here. i don't think we should be doing too much finger pointing, but it is clear that this campaign treated the primary as the victory when there was still a whole other race to go. that having been said, i think it's time for a little bit of introspection and self reflection when it comes to the priorities that we have as -- and the order -- and the ordering of those priorities. we've got to get health care reform done. we are talking about a state in massachusetts that 98% of the people in that state have health care, so it wasn't really a priority for them. that's why this race wasn't about health care. but when i go home and when every one of the colleagues that
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i speak to, particularly our most vulnerable members go home, it's jobs and the economy and their frustration with the banking system and the fact that even though we've given them so much money, they still aren't lending that money and the fact that you have people who are struggling to remain in their homes and who can't get their banks to work out their mortgages so that they can remain in their homes and not be foreclosed on. those are the kinds of populist, average, everyday issues that people are struggling with that we need to make sure we have -- that we make a priority. and if we do that, then this -- this bump in the road, which i'd rather have happen in january of the election year than in november, will be a lesson for us. >> i think as democrats are trying to figure out if this is in fact a bump in the road or they've just started driving down a very long, very bumpy road, the issue of lessons learned here, i think, is
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paramount. when you describe the campaign as having treated the primary as if that was the most important part of this race, that the general is maybe going to be a lay-up, that it didn't need to be worked for, is the democratic senate campaign committee also a part of that problem? were there national resources not directed to massachusetts that should have been -- that could have been -- are there lessons to be learned for the democratic party nationally heading into this election year in terms of not being too complacent? >> well, if you look at our track record -- i can only peek r. speak for the dccc, because i'm a vice chair of dcc and we've had five special elections all of which we won including new york 23 and a number of races you never would have predicted democrats would have won. some of this loss -- and i think quite a bit of the loss -- can be attributed to the campaign. the buck stops with the candidate at the end of the day. i don't know enough about the inner workings of the dfcc to suggest that they made serious
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mistakes here. but i can tell you that this should not be a red as an indicator of things to come when it comes to the election in november, because you look at race by race, incumbent members, they are ahead in the polls, ahead in the fund-raising. they have been reaching out and focusing on the issues that matter in their individual districts. and as a party, we need to take a look not just at our agenda on the issues that i just mentioned. but we also are going to need to be very focused on motivating our base, because the reason that this race was lost at the end of the day is that the republican electorate was a lot more excited about getting out and voting for scott brown than they were about martha coakley. and we've got to examine carefully the reason for that. we've got to be able to motivate our base and get them fired up about voting for their incumbent
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house members and electing some more -- some more democratic members to the house and the senate in november. >> to that point, one of the things that i found remarkable just in the way the timing unfolded tonight is when democrats started blaming each other. and sometimes in quite vicious terms. it's one thing for you and i to be gaming this out and talking about where improvements could have been made and who should be blamed or who shouldn't be blamed after this has already been decided. that was happening in a very public way in blistering terms well before the polls closed tonight. to me, that felt like democratic political malpractice, just this explosion of party indiscipline. and it makes me wonder why governor tim kaine not more out front tonight, why we're not hearing more from the white house tonight, why we're not -- why we're looking for -- why we're looking for democratic anonymous sources tonight in a
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lot of cases rather than talking to somebody out there unifying the party. >> well, i don't think we're doing anything other than being human. you've got some folks who, i think, are licking their wounds here and are really going through some self flagelation for lack of a better term. tomorrow we'll take a hard look at what the results of this election mean beyond just the malpractice that i think the campaign itself engaged in, focus on those issues. we're not going to be a firing squad among ourselves. we're going to hunker down, focus on the issues like jobs and the economy, like making sure that we hold the banking system accountable. president obama has pushed forward with a plan to expand the regulation of the banking system and the financial services system so that we can make it responsive to consumers instead of to the people who
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want to make money off the system. and when we focus on those needs, on those basic grassroots needs of people who are just trying to remain in their homes and make sure they can put food on their table and have a job that they can go to work every day and earn a paycheck, then, in addition to passing health care reform so we can cover everyone and stop having a health care system designed to benefit the insurance companies rather than the patients, then i think that will be an agenda that we can really run on and all of our candidates and incumbents will be able to be successful and we'll be able to motivate our base. that's going to be incredibly important. >> democratic congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz of florida doing yeoman's labor talking about democratic party strategy in the wake of such a difficult defeat for democrats. >> silver lining in every cloud, rachel. >> appreciate you taking the
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time. >> you get to be opt mist. >> that's me. i'm a glass is half full type person. >> that makes one of us. thank you, congresswoman, appreciate it. so after months and amongst and months and months and months of vicious partisan battling, does scott brown's victory and potentially bill-killing 41st vote mean the end of health reform? i'm live from doyle's cafe with a very, very, very friendly, well behaved crowd trying both to drink and enjoy themselves and sort of participate in all of this. here in jamaica plain, massachusetts. we're live from boston state. applying lip balm over...
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and over probably isn't giving results you want. introducing neosporin ® lip health™. shown to restore visibly healthier lips in just three days. new neosporin ® lip health™. rethink your lip care. we're live in jamaica plain, massachusetts, covering the united states special -- united states senate special election here. a democratic aide said this to nbc news of tonight's shocking result in the massachusetts special election. paraphrasing here.
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if this had been written into an episode of "the west wing," nobody would have believed it. an unheard of republican taking the seat of a beloved deceased party patriarch and monumental upset and ends up killing his signature issue, the one that was to be his legacy. too absurd. comment tonight from a democratic aide speaking to nbc news. it may be absurd. the question whether it will kill health reform tonight. this result tonight, will it kill health reform? as far as i'm concerned, it remains to be seen. it only kills health reform if democratic hopes for health reform is completely dependent on 60 votes. i'm not sure that's true. on the inside. my inner-workings a work of art. a digestive tract that should be bronzed. and an immune system so stunning... [ low growl ] my vet thinks i'm the eighth wonder of the world. [ female announcer ] introducing iams with prebiotics. prebiotics work inside, clinically proven to promote strong defenses. healthy inside... healthy outside. [ dog ] oh hi girls, nice day, huh?
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special election is over, what do tonight's results mean for health reform? according to virginia democratic senator jim webb, he thinks it means a time-out. responding to senator-elect scott brown's victory, senator webb released the following statement. quote, i believe it would be only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until senator-elect brown is seated. and more news. democratic congressman barney frank of massachusetts releasing this lengthy statement. and i'm going to read it at length because i think this is news here. this is barney frank's reaction to tonight's results. quote --
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again, that statement tonight from barney frank, democratic congressman barney frank of massachusetts. joining us now is the "washington post" ezra klein. thanks very much for joining us on the show tonight. >> how are you, rachel? >> how do you feel to hear barney frank say that he hopes that republican senators will now be willing to discuss a revised version of health reform sf. >> i'm surprised to hear frank saying that, particularly as
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pelosi and hoyer earlier today and over the weekend are both sort of saying there will be health care reform one way or the other. sounds like bad news to me for the democrats. i think one thing that should be clear on frank's statement. he's sort of implying the only way to pass health care reform is to go back to the senate. that simply is not true. health care reform passed the senate. the house could pass the bill and the president could sign it without it ever going back to the senate. that would not be some sort of violation of the rules, just one way you pass a bill. >> now, that said, lots and lots and lots of house members, including congressman anthony wiener speaking today, said that they wouldn't vote for the senate bill and they're not sure it could pals the house. you'll recall it passed by a pretty narrow margin in the house to begin with. i think you'd be peeling off both anti-abortion democrats and liberal democrats unhappy with a lot of the measures in the senate bill if you tried to do that. >> if the liberals are bolting it would be nearly impossible. what people will say is what you could do is most of these compromises primarily on the
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things liberals care about, the subsidies and excise tax could go through the reconciliation process, which is certainly the way the white house favors going. again, it depends on their willingness to do it. one of the lines we're hearing today is what democrats really have tois fear itself. if they think they cannot pass health care reform, they need to stop trying, that's the end of it. but there's nothing intrinsic to brown taking his seat in the senate that means this is over. this is in the hands of the democratic majority. it will be fascinating to see what they decide. it's very hard to see why they would prefer going into 2010 wasted a year of the country's time having nothing to show for it. >> it seems to me -- i articulated this with some enthusiasm earlier in the evening talking with chris matthews and keith olbermann that there's an exclamation point on tonight's result. that is that health care must be passed, that they have no option on health care, that this -- if
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this election has taught them anything, it's taught them that they've got to actually accomplish something in washington and not let the republicans take over because the republicans would love to and are poised to do so. i really think in political terms unless the democrats want to commit suicide, they're going to have to pass something. they're going to have to pass something that doesn't depend on chasing 60 votes. howard dean suggested earlier on the show that maybe this health reform should be simplified into a medicare expansion and that could be passed 51 votes and a reconciliation proposal in. >> i don't you'll get that on something as controversial as that from the senate. on the political side, i agree. one thing i think people should be clear on. there's no walking away from the bill. democrats own it. both chambers house and senate have vos h. voted for it. if this goes down, if it fails, all democrats have in 2010 is a failure. if it wins, if they still manage to pass it, they do get a day of headlines saying, historic
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headline and go into 2010 with something they can sell as a true accomplishment. i can't understand how anyone on the democratic side of the aisle would see the politics different than that. one thing you do get a sense of talking from them i'm not sympathetic to is just exhaustion. this is giving a lot of people an opportunity to give up. they're tired of angry town halls and angry constituents and tired of fighting with republicans and going on sunday shows, talking about things they care about. do i think that's more important than saving the lives and the homes of the uninsured? not really but congress is a strange place sometimes. >> congress is strange place. if that's the case, if that's what's holding them back, congress is a strange place for people running as leaders if they're too tired to press forward with what they said they would lead on. "washington post" ezra klein doing some of the most concrete, helpful, expos tory work in terms of health reform. thank you for joining us. coming up next, so how is
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the obama administration responding to this loss? for that we'll talk with nbc's political director and white house correspondent chuck todd. right now we are live at doyle's cafe in jamaica plain. it all starts with havinglocks more hotels to choose from.. that's why i book with expedia. so i can find someplace familiar... or somewhere more distinctive... nice! then i can compare dates to find out when i can save the most cash. done and done.
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if you're willing to get out the vote for martha coakley, then you won't just win this election. you will carry on the best progressive forward-looking values of this proud commonwealth and send a leader to washington who is going to work tirelessly every single day
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to turn this economy around, to move this country forward and to keep the american dream alive in our time and for all time. that's what martha coakley is about. and we need you. we need you. on tuesday. thank you very much, boston. >> president obama stumping just this weekend for the democratic candidate in massachusetts special election for the united states senate seat previously held by ted kennedy. he was here on sunday night stumping for martha coakley. martha coakley of course beaten by five points tonight by the republican in the race scott brown. joining us now for more on what tonight's results mean for the white house and what the white house is saying about tonight's results s. nbc news political director and nbc news white house correspondent and co-host of the daily rundown on msnbc, chuck todd. thanks very much for joining us. >> you got it, rachel. >> the official response from the white house tonight of course a congratulatory call
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from the president to republican scott brown. what's the unofficial response? >> the unofficial response is going to be tomorrow. you're going to hear -- first of all, you're going to hear from the president at some point. he's doing an interview with another network where they want to try to at least what one aide said to me lance the boil. deal with this a little bit of a firestorm that's coming from democrats. you're pointing to it. the circular firing squad began before polls closed which seemed a little unseemly but there's a lot of angst and anguish in the white house at martha coakley because they do believe this. a good campaign should have been able to eke out a victory in a mediocre to bad environment. and that is true when it comes to massachusetts. the fact is you had a combination of a bad campaign and a bad environment making it an unwinnable situation now in hindsight. so the problem that the white house is going to be dealing with is that how scared are
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congressional democrats going to be? you've put up some statements. they're fascinating statements from the jim webbs of the world coming from a swing state like virginia. warningy franks of the world, an institutionalist but coming from a very safe democratic seat. all seem to be indicating that, you know, they want to play it safe a little bit, there's a little nervousness in congressional democrats. the blind quotes in the media tomorrow will be fascinating to watch coming from democrats. i can tell you this. the white house believes that they have to push and they have to do what you and ezra were talking about, which is pass some form of health care. the worst result -- the worst reaction to tonight in their minds would be not doing anything because they believe failure would make it even worse in november. >> on that issue of what to do with health care, it seems like there will be some competing instincts among democrats and they're familiar ones. democrats do this on a lot of things. there's the instinct to push the
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clutch all the way in and let this thing just roll to a halt and hope nobody noticed it was driving any direction before you did that. the other instinct of course articulated on our air tonight by howard dean. said this is the time to hit the gas if you don't want to be thought of as failures in washington. who represents -- who are the biggest most important influential democrats representing those two instincts in the party right now? >> well,i'd say this. i think watching evan bayh's reaction in indiana is going to be fascinating and is going to be a little nerve-racking to the white house. why? evan bayh is a moderate democrat, conservative democrat who has been there for the white house on all of these votes. but he's up in 2010. he didn't have a real opponent. i think after tonight, he will. i mean, one thing about the scott brown victory, it's going to make republican recruiting in places like indiana, wisconsin -- watch out russ feingold -- washington state,
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watch out patty murray. you could see more interest by republicans in trying to challenge a barbara boxer in california. so watching evan bayh's reaction -- he already sort of had an early reaction when he said, hey, if they don't see this as a wake-up call, then i don't know what you would describe as a wake-up call. but how he reacts, would he be willing to be there for another vote, that's important. then you look at sort of where i think the progressive wing of the party is. and so right now you have a very defiant, for instance, anthony wiener, the new york city congressman, the brooklyn congressman, who seems to think -- and some others, even stephen lynch from massachusetts saying, hey, i'm not going to pass that senate bill in the house. i'd rather have nothing. i think that's the initial 24-hour anger. the white house is hoping that will subside and that the house democrats will sort of say, you know what, let's go the easiest political path, pass this senate bill exactly as is, get the president to sign it and then when people have problems with it, we can fix it as we go.
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>> in terms of that wing of the party, though -- you're suggesting we should be watching evan bayh for clues on. but represented tonight sort of remarkably by jim webb and barney frank, which is an odd couple in politics, if ever there was one, even if they are in the same party. this idea to rt so of not push, not to push something through particularly on health care to not try to do something that's going to try to proceed in different rules than they were proceeding before this election. what's their overt agenda, though? if you're jim webb or let's say you're evan bayh and thinking this isn't the time to push forward with health care, this is the time to let it go, how do you come up with a cogent plan for democrats to hold on to their majorities and not get creamed in november if your job is not to have legislative goals. >> if you're jim webb, you view yourself as a populist. he's going, hey, how did the democratic party, which did so well, sort of channeling their inner populist in '06 and '08
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lose it all of a sudden in '10. i've heard this same lament out of white house staffers. they'll talk the president has really got to get out there and connect with this sort of populist independent, angry independent out there who they sort of believe that they connect with or they did connect with. they've lost touch with them. and so this populist wing of the democratic party, which is progressive on some issues but also believes you've got to understand, feel and let these angry voters know you sort of -- you get it, you hear them. i think that's where frank and webb are coming from. barney frank has also sort of got a populist streak in him. a lot of those massachusetts -- successful massachusetts politicians, something martha coakley is learning, has a little bit of that populist streak in them. and i think that's what they're hoping the white house takes away from this tonight, because,
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look, these independents, they were change agents. they were angry in '06 and voted democrat. angry -- or i should say voted to fire republicans. and they're still angry. they don't see washington changing enough in some ways. and i think that's what the message webb and frank are trying to send is, hey, mr. president, make sure you publicly listen to this angry independent that's out there. >> nbc news political director, chief white house correspondent and the host of msnbc's "daily rundown" every morning at 9:00 eastern. chuck todd, also known as the busiest man in the business. chuck and savannah guthrie have both white house press secretary robert gibbs and david axelrod appearing on tomorrow morning's show along with senate minority leader mitch mcconnell account a.m. eastern on msnbc. i know you won't sleep between now and then, so have a good night. >> you got it. i will. thanks. had martha coakley won
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tonight, she would have been the first woman senator-elected from massachusetts ever. her best hope for winning, we heard from her campaign, was winning female independents and betting that electoral forensics will show that did not happen. salon's joan walsh and i will talk about what the loss means for and about women voters next. i'm live from jamaica plain. ♪ it has the agility to avoid the unexpected... ♪ ...the power to take on any mission, and the space to accommodate precious cargo, because every great action hero needs a vehicle. ♪ because every great action hero hos15% or more on car to geico insurance?e you host: did the waltons take way too long to say goodnight?
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massachusetts has never elected a woman governor or a woman senator. before electing martha coakley as state attorney general, which is the job she still has now and will be returning to now that she's lost the senate race, massachusetts before martha coakley had never selected a woman to be attorney general either. massachusetts has a reputation of being a bastion of liberalism. as a person who has lived in massachusetts 12 years i can tell you it's not all that liberal. it's also elected four of the last five governors -- four of its last five elected governors have been republican governors. there are some -- i think some mis-noamers and some stereotypes
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about massachusetts and national politics. and one of the things that often gets overlooked is how poorly women have fared in this state. speaking of elected women, i should bring you new news. we just got a statement, naturally via facebook, from the woman who came in second in the race for vice president in the last election, sarah palin has put out a statement on his facebook page saying, in part, congratulations to the new senator-elect from massachusetts. scott brown's victory proves the desire for real solutions transcends notions of blue state and red state. skipping ahead, clearly this victory is a bet weather for the big election night ten months from now. in the spirit of bipartisan let me -- against this is sarah palin -- let me offer advice to the democrats on how to stem this populist tide. scrap your current health care bill and start from scratch. so every time you hear a well meaning democrat or analyst suggest that, keep it mind that's sarah palin's idea, too.
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joining us now is joan walsh, editor in chief of salon.com. joan, thanks very much for coming in to be on the show tonight. really appreciate your time. >> happy to be here, rachel. >> isn't it interesting that basically none of the coverage of the coakley/brown race was about massachusetts's dire record of never electing women to big statewide offices? >> i think it was interesting. and i know that feminists were really thrilled when martha coakley won the primary. it was a big victory. we had high hopes for her. but, you know, the thing tonight, i have to say, as a feminist is when we run bad campaigns, we need to take our lumps. we need to put on our grownup pants and say so. so it would be very hard for me to sit here and say that sexism was a major factor in her loss. i don't think it was a major factor. it's always there. but i think the real issue is that she ran a poor campaign. i mean, you and i sat and we
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just watched scott brown go on and on and on and embarrass himself, in my opinion, talking about his daughters and offering them up. i think there was plenty to talk about in scott brown's candidacy. and she never chose to do so. she never made him this newcomer neophyte an issue. so that, to me, right now is much more relevant than her gender. >> we're looking right now at how the democratic party is going to sort of learn from this and take its lumps. i posed is a question to debbie wasserman schultz, the vice chairman of the dnc earlier this hour, asking sort of hopefully that she could tell us what the democratic party had done wrong, that they knew it was wrong and they were going to fix it. obviously, lat of democrats if he national level want this to be all martha coakley's fault. but are there national recriminations, too? should the dnc gotten involved earlier? should other people recognized they need to fight for this general harder than they were
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planning to at the state level? >> absolutely. i think there was a xlas ens in the democratic party. she's under fire for taking a vacation. i've called my staff back from vacation. i've been called back from vacation in crises, in times where a vacation just isn't really in the cards for me right now. so, you know, there was the capacity for somebody else to see this train wreck from a few miles ahead and say to her, step it up here, lady, and we're going to help you in these ways. i also do think it's not a referendum on president obama. i think that's pretty ridiculous. but i do think there is a wake-up here, that the democrats have been dithering on their message. they have delayed and not delivered health care reform, and that those larger issues of message and direction and who is going to fight for you hurt martha coakley as well. it was not entirely her fault. >> in terms of appealing, though, to women voters -- and obviously massachusetts is dominated by independents. we've got about 11 or 12%
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declared republican supporters -- republican party supporters among voters. about a third of the electorate identifies as democrat. everybody else identifies as independent. the coakley campaign saying until the bitter end that they were really hoping that independent women would come through for them. and i wonder if there is -- it seems to me sort of a real disconnect between efforts to target women and a real desire to down play the politics of abortion in democratic politics. big differences between these two candidates on abortion rights. big issues about abortion rights being protected within the health care reform packages being debated in congress right now. those issues which could conceivably appeal to quite a lot of independent women really left out of the discussion as democrats have been afraid to campaign on that issue, i think, for some time. >> well, i think there's the abortion issue, but i also think the other thing that you see and that you saw in this election, unmarried women are the most loyal democrats. there's a big gender gap between
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unmarried women and married -- excuse me -- and unmarried men. unmarried women are more liberal than married women, for lots of reasons. they're unorthodox. they may be more vulnerable. i think she really do not make a good kitchen table, bread and butter appeal to those women who feel vulnerable because of jobs, because of health care. she really didn't have the kind of economic populist campaign. on the abortion issue, it cuts both ways. clearly, i think that she didn't speak clearly enough on that issue of emergency workers being catholic. that sounded bad even to pro-choice people. she tripped up on a few issues. then throw in curt schilling and the red sox gaffes and she was toast. and as a woman who loves baseball, i don't consider that a gender issue. she should have known better. >> well, the curt schilling -- i sort of believe her that she was joking about curt schilling, because who could believe -- >> that she didn't know?
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>> anyway -- i don't believe she didn't know. she said she was joking and i just have to believe it. if you've lived anywhere, i don't know, within a thousand miles of massachusetts, you know about curt schilling. i can't just believe she didn't know. in any case, it came down to the pickup truck guy versus the woman who made the gaffe about baseball. and we ended up very, very gender terminology in the way people thought about this but ultimately another election cycle with another woman in massachusetts having a shot and not making it and i guess some reckoning here. joan walsh of salon.com. >> someone will one of these days. >> thanks for your time, joan. really appreciate it. it's been conventional wisdom a couple of weeks already that the massachusetts special election is a harbinger for the november elections. which is true, unless it's totally not true. next up, my colleague chris matthews will be here to fight with me viciously about that. as? as having to decide to go for it?
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on a night filled with political drama like this one, there's one person i always want to hear from. luckily, he's here and he also got the memo about the importance of wearing a sweater in a bar. chris matthews. >> if anyone is going to get all dressed up here. new-worlds business. and the startup-capital- for-barbers business. and the this-won't- hurt-a-bit business. because we don't just work here. we live here. these are our families. and our neighbors. and by changing lives we're in more than the energy business we're in the human energy business. chevron.
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maybe this was the moment when it should have been clear that there was something wrong with the democratic strategy to
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hold on to the senate seat that had been ted kennedy's in massachusetts for 47 years. after winning the democratic primary, after a heartfelt endorsement from the late senator's widow, vicki kennedy, a week before the special election, congressman patrick kennedy made a passionate case for why the people of massachusetts should support marcia coakley. marcia. he said it over and over and over again. marcia coakley. her name is martha. that was 36 hours before the polls opened. uh-oh. my college chris matthews of "hardball" joins us. thank you for sticking around. >> what did that tell you, that they weren't paying attention? >> a quality control issue on the campaign trail there. >> that jumped out. there was a lot but that was one there. it wasn't a great group effort. we're going to get to this over
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time. it came up in the hillary campaign. that is this. women in the workplace have to have what's called a professional manner. men have a little more history in the workplace and they have a little more range in the way they present themselves. women are expected to perform professionally. attorney, doctor, you want to see a game face to some extent, right? now when they get into politics, you're expected to do a lot of grabbing and holding and baby kissing. and a lot of it, sort of intimate exchanges with total strangers. and availability for intimate exchanges. come up to me, grab me. if you show any kind of guardedness or what you call in the workplace, professionalism, you're cold. so what we're finding out now, that it's harder. this guy tonight, i found him charming. i have no depth control or measure of the guy. i don't know how deep he is or how good he is or how bad he is, but i found he had a certain style with his family and the
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way he presented himself tonight, which was easy to take, let's put it that way. i think martha coakley is a professional prosecutor. >> yeah. >> go into court in life and death cases, tough civil cases. big enemies. hugely powerful enemies. you better damn well not look loosey-goosey, too cash. you used to be able to have tough prosecutors and hard charging prosecutors. spitzer before he had his problems. woman comes on hard charging, coldly professional. where is the niceness? >> in corporate terms, she prosecuted that incredibly high profile nanny case in the late '90s as a county prosecutor. on the strength of that became a middlesex county prosecutor.
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first woman ever elected to that job. walked into the attorney general's seat, a woman had never held that seat before on the strength of her reputation as a prosecutor. she's still is a get it done prosecutor. >> still is. >> and a public service lifer. >> that game face, can you take that game face into the political arena where you're expected to do the diners, the rooms like this, to do booth by booth to have emotional exchanges with total strangers. something they couldn't work out. it didn't happen. >> this guy, he's a smalltime attorney. he had the apparatus of a regular guy. now, the ax-handle from georgia, everybody has anchor chif or a fly swatter. everybody's got a shtick. well, it worked. but it was -- there's more range potential there with men. >> one thing i thought was
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interesting, for all the likability of scott brown, and he did project a likable air, because he got cart branch to do it because there was no competing narrative from the coakley camp. >> that's the key. >> he got to do that himself. but then you saw him give the speech tonight. the guy is -- the guy is a good extemporaneous speaker. he's not good at formally addressing room, not good at doing that formal work of being a politician. sort of, even as martha coakley did the sort of oddly cheerful concession, with again, not that much emotion and sort of like a gritty cheerfulness to it. he stood up and reading from a teleprompter seemed like first time he had done that in his life. not really ready for prime time. >> and a great orator who needs a teleprompter. you know that guy? >> you and me. >> no, obama. he works much better with one. >> teleprompters are useful
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devices. >> that was my bicentennial moment. i'm trying to think through why martha coakley will have a hard time with these other kind of politics. >> we'll see. chris matthews, the host of 1/4 hardball." we'll see you at the top of the hour. >> midnight. >> thank you. more on scott brown's victory here in massachusetts from doyle's cafe. because with national, i roll past the counter... and choose any car in the aisle. choosing your own car? now that's a good call. go national. go like a pro. wow, that's a low price! wow, that's a low price! how many products do we carry? 7,000. [ man ] wow, that's a low price! i'll get him a cart. [ man ] hot diggity dog! yeah. that's a low price! [ male announcer ] staples has low prices on everything you need for your office. and we mean everything. staples. that was easy.
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having to go in the middle of traffic and just starting and stopping. having to go in the middle of a ballgame and then not being able to go once i got there. and going at night. i thought i had a going problem. my doctor said i had a growing problem. it wasn't my bladder. my prostate was growing. i had an enlarging prostate that was causing my urinary symptoms. my doctor prescribed avodart. (announcer) over time, avodart actually shrinks the prostate and improves urinary symptoms. so i can go more easily when i need to go and go less often. (announcer) avodart is for men only. women should not take or handle avodart due to risk of a specific birth defect. do not donate blood until 6 months after stopping avodart.
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tell your doctor if you have liver disease. rarely sexual side effects, swelling or tenderness of the breasts can occur. only your health care provider can tell if symptoms are from an enlarged prostate and not a more serious condition like prostate cancer. so have regular exams. call your doctor today. avodart. help take care of your growing problem with tonight's loss of the senate seat for the democratic party, a seat that had been held by the late ted kennedy for 47 years, from 1962 until this past august when he died of brain cancer, the democrats in the united states senate now go from holding one of the largest senate majorities since the 1970s to holding one of the largest senate majorities since the 1970s.
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they'll be at 59. they'll see what they can do with 59 in terms of the pursuit of health reform and other priorities. this is the rachel maddow show here on msnbc. a special hour with chris matthews starts right this very second. >> it's what you do with what you got. the democrats now got 59 senate seats. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews at doyle's cafe in boston. this is a special midnight edition of "hardball." massachusetts has a new senator tonight. scott brown defeated martha coakley and pulled off the biggest political upset of our time. he'll take the seat held by the late ted kennedy and promises to be an obstacle to the democrats getting the votes they need for passing national health care.
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the voters went with scott brown to kill health care reform tonight in this special late night edition of "hardball" we'll look at the new realities. who's in trouble. which face the same fate as the democrats in massachusetts? who will get blamed for tonight's defeat, the president, the candidate, the democratic party, the health care bill? let's start with norah o'donnell and kelly o'donnell. first, norah o'donnell. >> good evening to you, chris. maybe i should say good morning. you know, three hours, about three hours after martha coakley called scott brown to concede this race, scott brown is still here. he's still working the room. he's still behind me shaking hands. that may be part of why scott brown won this contest. they say he worked very, very hard. he did not take any votes for granted, and he really worked it. this is also about an independent streak that is raging through this country. we s

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